Arkansas holds a special place in my heart, as it offers some of the most captivating spots for wildlife photography. Recently, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of magnificent days photographing one of my favorites – the Little Missouri Falls, nestled within the Ouachita National Forest. Today, I’ll share a glimpse of another hidden gem nearby, the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge, also known as the Nachitoch Bluff Bridge.
Unveiling the Rich History of the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge:
Construction and Design:
This historic bridge, believed to have been built in 1910, holds a unique distinction in Arkansas. It stands as the only known Camelback Pratt truss bridge in the state. The bridge’s main span stretches an impressive 185 feet (56 meters), showcasing a secondary Pratt truss design that adds to its architectural charm.
Location and Significance:
The bridge is not only a feat of engineering but also a piece of history. Nestled on the route of the Natchitoches Trace, an early colonial French-Spanish trail, it played a vital role as a crossing point for travelers. In recognition of its historical importance, the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge earned a well-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Replacement and Closure:
Over time, the 1916 bridge that originally crossed the Little Missouri River was replaced in 1942 by a wider 32-foot bridge. Eventually, vehicular traffic ceased, and the bridge now serves a different purpose. Today, it’s a charming pedestrian bridge, welcoming hikers and nature enthusiasts who are eager to explore the enchanting landscapes of the Little Missouri Trail and the Caney Creek Wilderness Area.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where is the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge located?
Situated near the picturesque Little Missouri Falls in southern Montgomery County, Arkansas, the bridge is a gateway to natural beauty.
What is the purpose of the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge?
The bridge now serves as a peaceful crossing point, connecting hikers and nature enthusiasts to the wonders of the Little Missouri Trail and the Caney Creek Wilderness Area.
What are the facilities available for the Little Missouri Trail?
For those venturing onto the Little Missouri Trail, expect day-use access along this 6.3-mile walking trail, leading you from the falls to the Albert Pike Recreational Area.
Are there any facilities available for the Little Missouri River Trail?
While the Little Missouri River Trail offers its own unique experiences, detailed facilities information can be found through further exploration.
Is the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge easily accessible?
The bridge stands just a short distance from the parking area, ensuring easy accessibility for visitors eager to immerse themselves in the beauty of this historic and natural treasure.
In conclusion, the Little Missouri Pedestrian Bridge stands as a testament to both engineering excellence and historical significance. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a nature lover, this bridge and the surrounding area offer a captivating journey through time and the great outdoors, making it a must-visit destination in the Ouachita National Forest.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer